Devine, who is a 1974 graduate of William Paterson, was acknowledged for his 40 years of general management, marketing, and financial achievements in both consumer products and financial services. As a principal in SaxBST's Strategic Leadership Group, the firm's consulting arm, he counsels clients in building high-performance, results-oriented organizations.
"It is always very humbling to be honored by an organization, but it is especially so for me to be named my alma mater's Distinguished Alumnus," said Devine. "William Paterson University has been an excellent institution for first generation college students, providing them with the opportunity to get into the game."
Devine began his career in public accounting. He left to partner with a client to grow the Wardley Corporation to six times its size before selling it to Hartz Mountain Corporation in 1994. Devine was subsequently named president and CEO of Hartz Mountain, where he spearheaded the acquisition of the company from the founding family by a major private equity firm in 2000. During Devine's tenure, sales at Hartz grew to $430 million.
After successfully repositioning the business, he sold it to a multi-national corporation in 2004.
Devine left Hartz and launched his consulting career with Managerial Design, a Toronto-based process management firm that is now a division of Deloitte Canada. Recognizing the opportunity to assist small to middle-market businesses, Devine established his own consulting firm, Devine Strategic Leadership LLC, in 2008. His practice encompassed a wide range of industries, including construction, consumer products, distribution, manufacturing, healthcare and retail. In early 2012, Devine merged his company with SaxBST.
"Bob Devine is a stand-out in the Strategic Leadership field and is much deserving of this award from his alma mater, of which he is very proud," said Robert Paz, SaxBST managing partner. "His innovative approach to every client and his unique ability to develop creative, customized solutions that help them achieve - and often surpass - their goals have elevated him to the highest levels of recognition in his field."
SaxBST is a multi-disciplinary accounting, tax and advisory firm serving the needs of closely held companies, family-owned businesses, not-for-profit and governmental entities and high-net-worth individuals throughout the New York tri-state area. Based in Albany, N.Y.; Clifton, N.J.; Mineola, N.Y. and New York City, SaxBST is the outgrowth of a merger completed earlier this year between two of the area's most prominent accounting firms, Sax Macy Fromm & Co., PC (SMF) and Bollam, Sheedy, Torani & Co. LLP (BST).
The firm's expertise covers a range of industry areas and niches including real estate, construction, manufacturing and distribution, employee benefits, retail, financial services, healthcare, professional services, not-for-profit, governmental entities and labor unions.
SaxBST's Strategic Leadership Group provides clients with the guidance, assistance and management systems necessary to increase enterprise value. The group has operating experience and works with businesses in all industries to achieve significant, sustainable improvement through the creation and implementation of strategy and lean-continuous improvement programs.